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Comment Re:Why not use Solar to compress the air? (Score 1) 248

I don't know why solar isn't being used, but on the burning of natural gas, it sounds like the purpose of a compressed air reservoir is that it can generate large amounts of power on demand, so it acts like a large battery that helps to ease peak demand spikes. From the article:

According to Apex’ website, compressed air energy storage (CAES) is unique in its ability to efficiently store and redeploy energy on a large scale in order to provide low-cost energy and enhance grid reliability.

Makes it sound more like a giant on-demand battery, which is why it would be preferable to leaving the energy in natural gas, which cannot be converted into usable electricity as rapidly. It's obviously less efficient, but natural gas perhaps simply cannot generate the output they need.

Comment Re:Methinks a law of unintended consequences (Score 3, Insightful) 672

Actually, prominent evolutionary biologist Ken Miller rigorously debunked all of Behe's "challenges" to evolution, from irreducible complexity, the bacterial flagellum, and so forth. Absolutely rigorously debunked. Notably, NONE of Behe's arguments were actual flaws in evolution, but merely appeals to ignorance - arguing that particular observations were inconsistent with evolution without any proof as to why.

Comment Re:Methinks a law of unintended consequences (Score 1) 672

Here it is! Here is your precise misunderstanding. The fact that you cannot prove Intelligent Design is PRECISELY why it is not a scientific theory. A theory in science is a framework of knowledge that harmonizes an observable, testable body of empirical results. The key here is you must start with observations, testing, and consistent results. Once you have developed a body of results, you can harmonize those into a theory that explains the whole.

Take for example Germ Theory, which is the framework for understanding the operation of microscopic organisms that enter our bodies causing illness and infection. It is based on observations of the bodies immune system, microscopy, bacterial cultures. Those observations are tested with medical research, treatments, drugs and antigens. From those tests, we derived consistent results that have withstood rigorous scrutiny. After all of that, we were able to formulate Germ Theory.

Evolution Theory has taken an analogous path. We observed comparative biology, anatomy, genetic drift, embryology, and from those observations, we fashioned experiments on heredity, phenotype expression, population changes, and many more, resulting in repeatable, consistent results. From these scientific facts, we fashioned Evolution Theory to explain the mechanisms of observable scientific facts we had previously discovered.

The fact that you cannot observe, test, quantify, ID is exactly why it is not a theory. There are no observations of intelligent design. From those nonexistent observations, there are no tests of intelligent design. From those nonexistent tests of intelligent design, there are no consistent, repeatable results, or facts, of intelligent design. Without those facts, there can be no theory. As you can see, Intelligent Design is many, many, many, many steps away from constituting a theory. It is not slightly deficient, but iteratively deficient, having not the precursors, or even the precursors to the precursors, of a scientific theory.

As scientists, we should embrace alternate theories...

You do not get to use that word. You clearly do not understand what science is.

Comment Re:Surprisingly, not all of them.Your kidding (Score 3, Insightful) 672

but from a spiritual point of view all religious communities agree that we lack the inner resources to guide ourselves for the better.

This is not remotely true. But even if it were, how can you fashion "an argument they understand," when they have fundamentally rejected logic? In such cases, it cannot be said that you are advancing an argument, merely regurgitating something that religious adherents have already assumed to be true, that is also consistent with global warming. That's not an argument, but mere rhetoric.

Comment Re:Surprisingly, not all of them. (Score 1) 672

How can you justify teaching creationism in cosmology? Assertions that cannot be tested, proven, or falsified have no place in science. What we know about cosmology is based on observation, experimentation, and testable data related to the universe's formation. Creationism, on the other hand, is as inapplicable as Shakespeare's plays, or the number of virgins promised by Allah when entering heaven.

As an unprovable assertion, creationism falls strictly outside of the realm of logic, and even fails to satisfy the most basic tenets of philosophy. Creationism has no bearing on the limits of human knowledge, falling far beyond the boundary of what is knowable. It's like studying the coastal region of the eastern seaboard by probing the surface of Mars.

Comment Re:Terrible reason for veto; Let courts do their j (Score 2) 462

The SCOTUS did no such thing. In People v. Diaz, the California Supreme Court held that warrantless searches of a cellphone was consistent with the protections of the U.S. Constitution and the CA State constitution. In other words, they interpreted a Police Procedure in light of State and Federal Constitutions. There was no statute involved.

In saying the SCOTUS 'let stand' that decision, this merely means that they chose not to grant certiorari. This is not affirming the decision, this is not striking down something similar, this is merely REFUSING to consider the question to begin with. There are numerous reasons the Court might do this: First, the issue involved a matter of State constitutional interpretation - a matter best left to individual states. This is because the California State Constitution recognizes more privacy protections than the U.S. Constitution. Second, the SCOTUS may be waiting for more opinions from other courts before they take on the issue. The search of cellphones is still relatively immature across the states and circuits. Third, alternately, the facts of Diaz may be unambiguous under federal protections, rendering intervention unnecessary.

OP is correct that Gov. Brown has this exactly backwards. A bill requiring heightened protections for cell phones does nothing to "overturn" the Cal. Sup. court's decision, as it does not change the way the court applies and interprets Constitutional protections. It instead, by legislative powers, creates a circumstance under which the State may provide more protections than the Constitution requires. This is explicitly and unambiguously allowed under the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. A State may ALWAYS choose to provide more protections than the Constitution requires, it simply may not provide less.

Comment Re:This is a sad day for the tech world (Score 5, Funny) 1027

I don't know how you did it, but you seem to have forgotten about this device called the iPod. Yeah, it brought PMPs to the mainstream. Apple sold a metric butt-load of them and made a mint in the process. Oh yeah, they also created an iTunes store, sold over 10,000,000,000 songs and other related media, and now sells more music than anyone else on the planet, including Walmart.

iOS and iPhone didn't save Apple, it catapulted them from ludicrously successful to can't-talk-I'm-having-too-many-orgasms-all-the-time successful.

Comment Re:This is a sad day for the tech world (Score 5, Insightful) 1027

It's not Carly Fiorina coming in and fucking up HP for a few years and leaving - Steve Jobs started the company, worked there ~10 years, left for a few, then came back and was CEO for 14 more. No other CEO on the planet is so closely associated with their company. As a pillar of the tech industry, his input drove the state of the art forward. It is a loss for the tech world when any big name leaves for good. By the way, this website is called Slashdot, and its a place for "News for Nerds," you know, people who generally care about technology.

Comment Re:Obvious? (Score 1) 369

Good thing that's not the standard for obviousness.

The standard is that the patent would have been obvious to try for one of ordinary skill in the art (here, the art is product design of some kind).

Even if you could prove your "one out of any 10 geeks" assertion, which you absolutely can't, it would be of no weight in determining obviousness.

Comment Re:USB flash drives cost more than DVDs (Score 1) 206

You do realize that Apple reduced the price of the upgrade by 75% while moving to App Store distribution, right? I'm not crazy about distributing a new OS over the App Store, but keep in mind Apple could have *EASILY* charged $129 for Lion and people would have paid for it.

Also, pressing one DVD may cost pennies, but the screen printing costs several times that. Add in mastering costs, packaging, manufacturing, distribution, retail, suddenly you have half a dozen vertical chains to organize. That doesn't cost pennies.

Comment Re:It's pretty simple (Score 1) 516

The display capabilities, strain, and technology for consumer-grade LCDs still provides for a vastly inferior reading experience than ordinary quality print media. I can read paper faster, annotate faster, and save my eyes strain and effort, and save myself time by simply printing documents out. I read thousands of pages of documents for a grad school, and I will print out anything around 10,000 words, and anything I need for personal research because I'll be reading it 3-5x. I can't imagine why you'd think current LCD technology solves these issues.

Comment Re:Disclosure (Score 1) 192

He needs to describe with sufficient detail how one of ordinary skill in the art can practice godly powers.

But what is "one of ordinary skill", and what "art" is this? Is it the art of being godly? One must be practiced in the art to say that it is not enabled.

Personally I would have gone with non-patentable subject matter under Chakrabarty, since "godly powers" are by definition not "made by man."


Man Tries to Patent His "Godly Powers" Screenshot-sm 192

KWInt1601 writes "A man who believes he is Christ files a patent application — and the formal dance of responding to office actions from the USPTO begins. Invoking the 1998 State Street decision, the applicant argues, 'like software, godly powers is a method, and affects a machine. Like business methods, godly powers produces a useful, concrete, and tangible result, and that should be all that's needed for statutory material.'"

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